Bob Donnan/USA TODAY

Recent Contracts Don't Help Carolina Panthers' Negotiations with Kawann Short

The Carolina Panthers' front office has an idea of what a fair contract would be for Kawann Short. However, the longer they wait the more the market rises for top defensive players with recent deals signed by Von Miller and Muhammad Wilkerson.

General manager Dave Gettleman said last offseason that he does not negotiate contract extensions which would leave the Carolina Panthers a little over six weeks left to try to reach a long-term deal with Kawann Short. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle is coming off a career year with 11 sacks and is entering his final year of his rookie contract.

If the Panthers' GM doesn't want to let Short reach free agency, or have to use the franchise tag, they will need to reach a new deal prior to the team taking the field against the Denver Broncos on September 8th.

The negotiations to this point have not gone as smoothly as one would hope as Short did sit out a majority of the offseason workouts. However, he was in attendance for the mandatory workouts this offseason.

Gettleman is starting to earn a reputation as a tough negotiator and tends to have a number in mind and will not waiver from it. That was clearly evident in the negotiations with Josh Norman that fell apart and led to his joining the Washington Redskins.

The Panthers though should not wait much longer in their negotiations with Short as the market value for defensive linemen continue to rise with recent deals signed. Over the past two offseasons, there has been seven deals signed for top defensive players and comparing last year to this year, there is a significant increase.

Year Name Position Years Total Value Average Salary Guaranteed Amount
2016 Von Miller OLB 6 $114,500,000 $19,083,333 $70,000,000
2016 Muhammad Wilkerson DE 5 $86,000,000 $17,200,000 $53,500,000
2016 Fletcher Cox DT 6 $102,600,000 $17,100,000 $63,299,000
2016 Olivier Vernon DE 5 $85,000,000 $17,000,000 $52,500,000
2016 Malik Jackson DT 6 $85,500,000 $14,250,000 $42,000,000
2015 Ndamukong Suh DT 6 $114,375,000 $19,062,500 $59,955,000
2015 Marcell Dareus DT 6 $96,574,118 $16,095,686 $60,000,000
2015 Gerald McCoy DT 6 $95,200,000 $14,757,308 $51,500,000

*Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.com

Aside from Ndamukong Suh's deal, a majority of the deals signed this offseason surpassed the top deals signed last year. The Panthers will most likely now need to be at a point where they are offering a contract with an average salary of $17 million and the guaranteed amount will need to be over 50 percent, most likely closer to 60 percent.

The other reason the Panthers need to pay attention to this is because this will affect the franchise tag, if the team decides to go that route. The salary for the franchise tag is determined by averaging the Top 5 salaries at the position. That would mean that the franchise tag next year for a defensive tackle will most likely be around $16,250,000 for a one-year deal. This would be almost $3 million more than it was this offseason ($13,615,000).

The longer the Panthers wait to reach a long-term deal with Short, the more likely it will cost them in the long run.

Twitter @BrandonCroce

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